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Public Policy

Guide to resources for government, public policy, and public administration.

Research Process Resources

Searching databases can be tricky.  Below you'll find a few search tips that may help you find more accurate results in less time:

Use AND, OR & NOT while searching.

Example: crime AND (woman OR female) 

Use * to truncate your search

Example: Educat* will find education, educate, educated etc.

Use Subject Terms to limit your search

Example: Find a subject (the word(s) the database uses to describe what each article is about) that describes your topic.  Search using this word as a subject to find more accurate results.  In some databases, the most common subjects from your initial search will appear along the side or top of your search results.

Use a thesaurus

Example: Sometimes searching for the word "flu" won't find any results, because all articles refer to it as "influenza."  Keep a thesaurus handy and be ready to use synonyms for your keywords.

Filter your results

Example: Many databases allow searchers to limit their search results by "type" of source.  For example, in a database like Academic Search Premier, you can filter out results from scholarly journals only, or newspapers only etc.  You may also be able to limit your results by date or limit to a specific publication.  If you get too many results, filtering those results is an easy way to get a more manageable number of sources


The library is working to improve its services.  You can help us by completing the pre-test before today's class and the post-test after today's class.


Finding Topics

Resources for finding, narrowing and retrieving background information on topics in public policy:

Finding Journal Articles

Finding Government Info

Think Tanks

Below is a directory of think tanks from Harvard Univeristy Libraries.  Don't forget that not all think tanks are created equal.  Some are independent, some government affiliated, some corporate sponsored and some afiliated with particular political parties.  Be sure to explore the Think Tank's "about us" section and mission and use what you learn there to evaluate the information you find.

Directory of Think Tanks

Librarian Contact Information

Catherine R. Johnson
Langsdale Library
University of Baltimore
1420 Maryland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201

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